Zuiganji Temple in Matsushima Town, Miyagi Prefecture, is a temple of the Rinzai sect and is known as a family temple of the Date clan. It was founded in 828 by Jikaku Daishi En’nin, a high-ranked priest in the Heian period. Its formal name is Matsushima Shoryuzan Zuigan Enpuku Zenji. It is also called Matsushima-dera.
The present temple buildings were completed in 1609 after the 5-year construction work. It is said that Date Masamune invited 130 excellent carpenters from all over the country to build this temple. The main hall, the Onari entrance, the corridor and Kuri (the priests’ quarters) are designated as National Treasures. The Onari-mon and Naka-mon Gates and the Taikobei wall are nationally designated Important Cultural Properties.
The Onari-mon Gate is a Yakuimon-styled stately structure with a tiled roof in the Irimoya-zukuri (hip and gabled) style, while the Naka-mon Gate in front of the main hall is a simple four-legged gate with a Kokera-buki (thin wooden shingles) roof. It has no walls to connect the legs. The white clay wall is Taikobei, or “drum wall,” which is a double wall that consisted of two separate walls between which earth, sand and stones were placed.
The palm trees respectively producing white and red flowers stand on both sides of the Naka-mon Gate. They are called “Garyubai (Lying Dragon Palm)” from their appearance. It is said that Date Masamune brought them back from Korea. They come into bloom in the middle of April.
Zuiganji Temple in Matsushima Town, Miyagi Prefecture, is a temple of the Myoshinji school of the Rinzai sect. It was founded as Enpukuji Temple in 828 by Jikaku Daishi En’nin, a high-ranked priest of the Tendai sect. The temple received faithful protection from the Oshu Fujiwara clan as a temple built at the Emperor's behest. The principal object of worship is Sho Kannon Bosatsu.
In 1259, it became a temple of the Rinzai sect, and was prosperous for some time and then declined in the Warring States period (1493-1573). It was revived in 1609 by Date Masamune and renamed Zuigan Enpuku Zenji Temple.
Kuri (the priests’ quarters) and the corridor were constructed presumably during the Keicho era (1596-1614). They are elaborately designed precious historic structures. Kuri is connected to the main hall by the corridor, which has railings with incised decorations. Kuri has a huge tiled roof in the Kirizuma-zukuri (gabled) style. The embellishment of gable pediments and the layout of the corridor are especially wonderful. They are collectively designated as a National treasure.
Kitain Temple, located in Kosenba-machi, Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture is a temple of the Tendai sect. It is the 28th temple of the Kanto 36 Fudo Pilgrimage Route. It is popularly called “Kawagoe Daishi.” The main object of worship is Amida Nyorai.
The temple was founded in 830 by the priest Jikaku Daishi Ennin under the order of Emperor Junna. It was originally named Muryojuji Temple. The temple was destroyed by a battle fire in 1205 but was reestablished by the priest Sonkai under the order of Emperor Fushimi to worship Jie Daishi Ryogen, a chief abbot of Enryakuji in the 10th century. The temple buildings including Kita-in (the north temple), Naka-in (the middle temple) and Nan-in (the south temple) were constructed but the middle and south temples were ruined at the end of the Warring States period (1493-1573). In 1588, when the priest Tenkai became a resident priest of Kita-in (北院, the north temple), he changed the characters of its name to the present “喜多院.” In 1638, all the temple buildings except the gate were destroyed by fire. In the following year, Tokugawa Ieyasu orderd to move a pert of Edo Castle to this place and reconstruct it as the temple building.
The temple is visited by a lot of people all through the year. Some of them come to see the temple’s cultural properties; others to worship 500 Rakan (disciples of Buddha) statues. Especially on January 3rd, when Hatsu-Daishi Festival (the first Daishi festival of the year) and Daruma Market are held in memory of Jie Daishi, the precinct is filled with New Year’s visitors.
Chogakuji is a temple of Shingon Sect located in Sakurai City, Nara Pref. Its Sango (the name of the mountain where a temple is located) is Kamanokuchi-san. It is the 19th temple of “Kansai Hana no Tera (the temples famous for flowers in Kansai Region).” The temple was established by Priest Kukai under the imperial order made by Emperor Junna in 824 as the Junguji (an attached temple) of Yamato Shrine. During the Warring States period, it was damaged by a fire, but restored in 1602 under the protection of Tokugawa Ieyasu. The main object of worship is Amida Sanzon (three Amida statues). These statues are considered to be the oldest of all the statues in which the technique of Gyokugan (that uses crystal balls for eyes) is employed. The Shoro-Gate is the only structure that remains since its foundation. One of the collections of this temple is “Gokuraku Jigoku-zu (Hell and the Pure Land)” painted by Kano Sanraku. This magnificent picture with a height of 3.5 m and a width of 11 m has preached people the world of Buddha.
Hozenji Temple is a representative Buddhist structure built in the late Edo period. It is selected as one of 100 Ibaraki Scenic Beauty and designated as a Tangible Cultural Property by the prefecture. The temple was established more than 1,000 years ago in the 3rd year of Tencho era (828) in the Heian period by Hozen Dojin, who place Senju Kannon (Kannon with 1,000 arms) as the main object of worship at this temple. It was prosperous as an Imperial temple of Emperor Junna at its time of the establishment. Later in 1713, it was designated as one of 8 powerful temples of Tendai Sect in Kanto Region and functioned as a training school for young priests. There are a lot of cultural properties preserved at this temple including prefectural cultural properties of Nio-Gate, Shoin Hall, and Kuri (priests’ quarters), the wooden statue of Kongo-Rikishi, Gokorei (five-pronged bell), Gokosho (five-pronged pestle), and Myoho-Rengekyo Sutra. The Main Hall, which was built in 1842, is the largest Kannon hall in Japan. If you stand in front of this hall, you will be overwhelmed and know how large it is!
Kanshin Temple belongs to Koyasan Shingon Buddhism, and is located in Kawauchi-Nagano, Osaka. It is situated on a hill known as Hinozan. The temple is counted as the 25th of the Kansai Hanano Dera and Shinsaigoku Sanju Sankasho Kannon Reijo.
Enno-ozuno established Kanshin Temple in 701. Back then it was called Unshin Temple. In 815, Kukai inherited it and gave it its present name. In 827, it was passed on to Kukai's disciple, Jitsue, who constructed the Sangharama.
It is known that the temple's principle image was created by Kukai, and is designated as an important cultural asset.
Kanshin Temple is associated with Nan-cho and, in 1359, it became a temporary residence of the Gomurakami Emperor. Also, it is a family temple of the Kushinoki clan. Furthermore, the classroom, statue, and 'kubizuka' prove that Kusunoki Masashige also stayed in this temple.
Ono Temple belongs to the Muroji Shingon Sect of Buddhism and is located in Muro-ku, Uda, in Nara Prefecture. The temple's sango title is Mt Yoryu.
Ono Temple is a branch temple of Muro Temple and, because of its location west of this, it was also called the 'West Gate of Muro Temple'. The temple was built by Enno Gyoja in 681. In 824, Kukai built a saya and named it Jisonin Miroku Temple, but it came to be called Ono Temple after its location.
The Miroku Gesho Senkoku Daimagaibutsu, seen carved on the Byobugaura on the opposite shore by the Uda River, was carved in 1207 by a mason named Inoyukisue from Song Dynasty China; it is the largest Senkoku Daimagaibutsu in Japan.
Trees within the precinct of the temple include the large 'benishidare' (a type of cherry) growing here in rows, as well as the 300-year-old giant 'koitoedatare' (another type of cherry), which blossoms beautifully in the spring.